Men, we get a big. Amen from all of you guys out there a man. Yeah. I'd like to hear the amen. Well, it's good to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ that the death has been defeated once and for all and as we sing that song We Sing Hallelujah and I pray and hope this morning that as you are sitting in your home's watching the service that you are declaring that and the halls of your household. If you got halls or in the rooms of your household and let that ring out today as we celebrate everything that God has done to show us his great. Love first thing I want to do is just give a shout out to thank you Tour bands. They're walking out of the stage right now cuz the cameras on me, but maybe you guys just send them encouraging words. If you if you see them on Facebook or you have their contact information, please encourage in this week. They've been practicing and preparing for service. Day, and thank you. Thank you team for everything that you guys have done. Well this morning there's a tradition actually that happens in the church this morning where a typically that the speaker as their up on stage. They'll say something like he is risen and the audience response with he is risen indeed. Now, I know some of you out there maybe you're watching church for the first time but maybe some of you are a lot of you are out there what we've been part of the church for a while, but I want to try doing this together, even though we are not here physically in the same building. I want to I want to just declare that he is risen so we got a couple guys in here, so I'll be able to hear them to but let me go ahead and shut that out. He is risen.
All right, that that was okay. That was okay. Now that was that was meant to be a declaration. And so I want to hear it loud and I want to hear you declare it he is risen. All right. I was a little bit better as a little bit better today as we celebrate Jesus's resurrection. We declare that truth in and that's something that we declare all the time as the church. It's not just something that we celebrate today. It's something that we celebrate Evan everyday and then we live in every day. But particularly today I will take time to reflect in particular in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead now as I got to church this morning arrived early in it. And if I'm not a morning person, but for me coming in early despite being tired, it's it's a really good time of of quietness for me and a time to reflect on my week and my day and and process through things that I've been struggling with process through things are going out of my mind my heart and pray before the Lord especially recently due to the pandemic that we are fine or sell. In right now globally, there's been a lot more opportunity for processing to happen. And for those of you who are joining us this morning. I'm sure you're processing as well in the midst of this difficult situation. And if you're not in the midst of a difficult situation, you might see one Lumen closely on the horizon for some of you might be experiencing the loss of a job made it to a loss of a personal relationship in your life. And you're in the midst of physical trials rather. You might be in the midst of personal conflict. You might be struggling with your faith or even just a sense of purpose right now and I'm wondering God, what is it that you're doing? What is it? That's that's going on and you just really struggling and for others. It might be just apathy where there's just a lack of passion and your lifemate is a sense of emptiness and you just feel like you're just rude you're surviving in this moment trying to get through each day and you're slogging through mentally emotionally spiritually and it's it's draining and you feeling tapped out right now with everything that's happened in the last month. This morning in the quiet you come with a heavy weight upon your shoulders. And you might find yourself obviously in a position. It is not unlike that of the early disciples. I want to look at their life when we look at everything that happened to them. They found themselves in a unique position and saw this morning on a start by reading from John 20.
restart with verse one from John chapter 20 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early while it was still dark and saw that the tomb had been taken away. So sorry start at South of the stone had been taken away from the tomb so she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple the one who Jesus loved and said to them they have taken the Lord out of the Tomb and we do not know where they have laid him. So Peter went out with the other disciple and they were going toward the tomb both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reach the tomb first and stooping to look and he saw the linen cloths lying there but he's not go in then Simon Peter came following him and and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there in the face cloth, which had been on Jesus's head not lying with the linen cloth, but fold it up and placed by itself. The other disciples would reach the two first also went in and he saw and believed for as yet they did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes. Mary stood weeping outside the gym unless you wept she Stoops to look into the tomb and she saw two angels and white sitting where the body of Jesus had Lane and one at the head of one of the feet. They said to her when and why are you weeping? She said to them they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid him having said that she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her women. Why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking supposing him to be a gardener? She said to him sir, if you had carried him away tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away. Jesus said to her Mary she turned as you said to him in Aramaic Redbone I needs teacher. You said to her do not cling to me for I have not yet ascended to the father, but go to my brothers and say them I am ascending to my father and your father to my God and your God Mary Magdalene went and announce the disciples. I've seen the Lord then and that he said these things to her. Will you play with me? Heavenly Father we come before you this morning God and we give you praise for God. We thank you for all that. You've done to show us your great love and got as we open your word this morning that we pray for that you would speak to our hearts into our minds got it you When parked to us your wisdom in your understanding and gummy we step more into the depths of the riches of Who You Are. I'm so glad we give you this time. We pray this in your name. Amen.
Now the disciples on that day, they found themselves of an in an interesting position. Not much different than ours. Sure, they were in the wake of the death of Jesus. They must have been doing a lot of processing. I know I would have been just as darkness is the absence of light so death is the absence of life and now here's our savior who had the light of the world in him. Was crucified and laid in a tomb they were mourning the loss of their King their savior Hood boot brutally been crucified on the cross. And this was the reality. This was the moment that they were living in the person that they had invested everything into the person that they had surrounded their lives and wanted to model after they had abandoned their ships that abandon their trades that abandon their family and pursued after Jesus that put their hope in him that put their dreams and him and their trust in him. I know he was gone. For those of you who may be lost loved ones before you know what this might feel like Have you shared life together with people that person is gone in an instant you you just experienced this range of emotions experienced things like anger desperation fear loneliness. You ask the questions and you get frustrated God. What are you doing? Why is this happening and you seek to find resolve in those things?
What were the things that death brought in the disciples life at that moment a lot of the similar things that we see that we experienced. First of all, we see things like Shane as Jesus was arrested and crucified his disciples scattered. They ran even Peter himself as he was identified as being part of of his followers. He did not knowing Jesus three times and in a moment of cowardness and he felt so much shame and guilt in that there is despair. Their leader was crucified all of their Hope Was Gone what just happened? What do we do now? Where do we go from here? Was he a fraud or we frauds what is going on? There Was Fear what are the repercussions of this? What now? Are we going to be arrested? Are we going to be disowned by our families? Have we been rejected by God? Are we safe? What are people going to think of us? The experience the same emotions that were due to death entering in the world as a result of sin.
things like Shane Despair and fear Romans 5:12 tells us there for just as Sin came into the world through one man and death through sin and so death spread to all men because all send We look at the beginning of this narrative that goes all the way back to the opening pages of scripture and we see a picture where God created the heavens and the Earth and he created Humanity set them in the garden with perfection. There was no sin. There is no broken this there is no shame. There is no despair. There was no fear man walked with God in perfect. Peace. There's no separation. Everything was clear crystal clear. This man made a decision to rebel against God sin entered into the Earth as a result of sin comes death. And so what does Adam do as he disobeys God and His rebellious against him? What does he do? He hides he was ashamed and where were there was once perfect Unity perfect. Peace, perfect transparency Adams hiding behind the leaves in the garden and we see and experience that all the time ourselves as as a father of little ones you're when they are disobedient or when they do something that my kids know that they're not supposed to be doing. One of the first things they do is they try to hide it or hide themselves. They don't want to confront what's happening. And so, you know, we can tell something's up and said he Pearl have you guys seen this And now you can just see it's written on their face and they they try to hide we've been doing that throughout Humanity for years and years. There's fear Adam head because he was afraid where there was. Once again. Peace in a relationship with God where there wasn't Discord. Now, there was Discord. They knew that they had disobeyed on another was something different things were not okay with their creator things were not going to be the same. And so there was even despair with Adam and Eve in the garden of Ilona. What did we do? Everything is changed from this point on nothing is ever going to be the same and it was a decision that Adam and Eve had made together. The defied humanity throughout the centuries and this is the position that we all find ourselves in humanity from the time of Adam to the time of Christ. This is the position of all Humanity even up for us today apart from Jesus and had Jesus Christ not risen from the dead. This is where we would remain today. This morning we declare though that that was not the end of the story that Jesus Christ did not stay in the grave. That is too much not robbed by Steve's wanting to discredit to he was but the good news is that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead conquering death once and for all Paul put it this way in Romans 5 when he says therefore has the one trespassed led to condemnation for all men. So one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. Brass by the one man's Disobedience. The many were made Sinners. So by the one man's obedience, the mini will be made righteous. We stand here this morning not to mourn the death of Jesus Christ, but to Proclaim that he is alive he is risen and we sing Hallelujah and no longer to send and Conquer us because Jesus conquered it Romans 5:10 sets for if while we're still enemies were reconciled to God by the death of his son much more now that we are reconciled. Shall we be saved by his life? Turn on that morning the disciples ran to his tomb to see him and Define that empty tomb they were confronted with who Jesus was as the Risen King. And in that moment. He took all their shame. He took all of their fear. He took all of their Despair and in a moment the light bulb click on for those disciples who saw the Risen King and he was a conquering King like no other and his mission was to share this new life that would come through an end him because of what he had just accomplished and he told his disciples go and take my message about this new life. John 10:10 tells us that he comes to bring life into bring it abundantly. It's a life without shame. We're out and bring shame and condemnation. Jesus brings righteousness and freedom. Roman sells assistant. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are Jesus Christ for the law of the spirit of life has set you free in Christ from the law of sin and death brothers and sisters. We don't have to hide any longer. We don't have to push our stuff under the carpet. We don't have to run from our Brokenness because of what Jesus is accomplished. We can give it to him and say Lord is not mine to care anymore because you carried on the cross and your punishment was a nice enough to bring righteousness in my life. It was enough to satisfy the standard of God and we could come out of the shadows and we can stand in the light and freedom in the goodness of who God has declared us to be Where there is fear we're out of breath fear in the world through sin and death. Jesus brings. Peace and Reconciliation Ephesians 2 tells us this for he himself is our peace who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of Commandments expressed in ordinances that he might treat him in himself one new man in place of the two so making peace and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross there by killing this hostility. Through Jesus. We've been reconciled to God. We are his we belong to him no longer their bitterness no longer. Is there shame or guilt? We feel like we can't approach. We have to work up this moral ladder. Now we can stand in the righteousness of God because Jesus gives us his righteousness and we can stand in harmony with him. We can be known and fully know him. Where there was despair router brought the spare on the world Christ brings hope and joy 1st Peter tells us this blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to his great Mercy. He has caused us to be born again to a Living Hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable undefiled and unfading kept in heaven for you to go by God's power or being guarded through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Because Christ rose from the dead we have a Living Hope.
That he has conquered death once and for all.
If he's just in the grave if he's just in the ground in his message doesn't mean a whole lot but it's precisely because he did rise from the dead. That is a ho can it is a a reference not a representation, but a reality that we live in that what he started he will see to the finish and we have that inheritance waiting for us in him. The world that we live in is not the end this moment in life is not all that there is and if we put our faith in our trust in Jesus we two can share in eternal life with him. And this has an effect on our present age the we don't live for this moment. We don't live for this age because we're living for something greater. the things that we Taste of goodness in this world Are nothing compared compared to the goodness and the glory of God that we have together?
Now we're in an interesting moment today, aren't we? interesting season
Yesterday I went for a run a no for me a lot of of my processing happens when I go exercise. I'm a surfer that's kind of my happy place being out in the water and it's just time for me to talk with the Lord and I also do that with running and I process a lot to my my thoughts and emotions and what's going on right now. And one of the things I sent to right now is that there is a strong spirit of fear and despair in the air. And I hear this all the time that you know, whether it's on social media or the news or whatever we find. It. It's it's a lot of the fear and despair is because of his Global pandemic that's going on. It's because of this coronavirus it is confronting us. But I think was driving that fear and despair is not the virus. It's it's what the virus brings. It's at the virus is deadly. It's that the virus has brought a great amount of deaths two different areas of the world and is knocking on her door steps and many of you might have experienced the results of that virus bringing death in your own life.
They could bring death in the moments to us and the people around us. And dust is scary, isn't it? It brings us to the reality that we find ourselves in. What is also brought death in a certain way of living and existing? Hasn't it? I love the way that were used to being no longer is the same.
The world that gives us a false sense of Safety and Security world that is full of Idols that is lettuce to believe that we are in control. Has suddenly come to a halt and made us realize you know, what we're not in as much control as we might think we are and the things that we build are allowed around our lives don't give us as much safety and protection that we might think that they do.
And so what this virus has done it is brought us to us this doorstep of reality. The reality that that we will have to face death at one point or another in our lives and whether it's physical death In a moment of a car accident or something that happens tragically or maybe we live a long life at the end of the day. We will all be confronted with death. What's the death of a false notion that like I said, we're in control. a death of a way of being this reality is exactly what Jesus came to die for to give his life for ours, so we don't have to experience death as the end.
The one we might experience physical death in this world that Jesus has given us eternal life that starts now in the death is not the final say it does not have its sting. Give his life for ours so that the one true king could be in his rightful place in our lives on his throne and that he can knock down all of those other things that we try to replace instead of him. This Easter's opportunity to respond to God. It's an opportunity to embrace reality. It's an opportunity to put our trust in him in this living. Hope that he offers because of the fact of his resurrection. It's an opportunity to step into a new way of living that the spike the global pandemics despite the economic turmoil despite even death itself. We don't have to be afraid we don't have to find ourselves in a position of Despair. We don't have to be ashamed before the king of kings and Lord of lords because he rules over this universe and we don't why precisely because of what Jesus has done and what he has accomplished.
Paul put it this way that because of Jesus Conquering the grave So I can be on your slide, but I'll read it for you. What show What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us who can be against us he who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all how will he not also with him graciously. Give us all things. Who shall bring any charge against God's elect it is God who justifies? Who is The Condemned Christ? Jesus is the one who died more than that. He was raised who is at the right hand of God who is indeed interceding for us who shall separate us from the love of Christ shall tribulation so stress Or persecution or salmon or nakedness or danger or sword as it is written for your sake we are being killed all the day long. We are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. This is Paul saying is he lived it knowing all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life nor angels nor rulers, no things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ. Jesus our lord.
This is the reality right here. The God wants to bring us into Yeah, death is real but he's defeated it and because of what he has done if we put our trust in him if we put our faith in him. Nothing can separate us from all eternity from him. We are his and whatever confronts Us in this world can never Rob us of what we have in God. and so this morning
I would encourage you to respond. It's about Proclamation. That if you're with us this morning and you find yourself having never put your faith or trust in Jesus Christ, this is an opportunity for you to respond to him.
That in this moment it might awaken your heart and your mind to your reality of your great need for God. You're make your great need for him to rescue you and to give you salvation. That's why we're here. I'm not a person standing here before you today as someone who's got it all figured out. I've been a nice shirt and tie on which doesn't happen very often. My wife would be happy. But here's the reality. I am broken. I am messed up. I have made so many mistakes in my life, but the Lord has shown me his grace and it is only by his grace and mercy in my life. Did I am where I am today? And I have the hope that I do and live the way that I do because it's it's if it's just me. I'm going to muck it up. Batman the Redemption of God is amazing it is a wonderful thing and he wants to bring it in your life today and as followers of Jesus Christ. Maybe you have fallen back into a place of Despair. Maybe you phone into a place of apathy. And God is calling you this morning to respond respond to the truth and the reality of his resurrection the no matter what this world brings against us. It cannot Rob us from that hope and joy that we have in him. Because of that we need to be careful what we are investing in. Are we investing in that Eternal reality? How are you responding and living in context of that Eternal reality or we just finding ourselves acclimated a living into this moment? God wants to open her eyes to see the bigger picture right now brothers and sisters. The key is called us to be ambassadors for him. So that the life that he brings through his death and Resurrection might be brought to those in this community in the lives of those around you. But it starts with us living that life out.
And for some of us maybe we falling back into a place. We falling back into an old way of living. And God's word to us this morning is that we would step into the life of his resurrection. Do we step out of that darkness that old pattern of life and step into that?